The Changing Face of Insults.

Rural

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I’m not used to starting threads, so be gentle!

I always enjoy the writing of Frank McNally and on Thursday’s edition of the IT he had an interesting piece, which I have pasted below.


Then I found myself pondering on hurtful words, why are we hurt by some words or do we choose to be hurt by words. The adage “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me”, is quite true. But some verbal insults seem to have completely lost their punch in recent times.

Now I’m interested in what Piesters think of this, does the name-calling and labels like “Nazi” still hurt, does it depend on who is using the words, or is it now like water off the proverbial duck’s proverbial arse? Are there other words that fail to insult any more?

Of Tims, Taigs, and Tenement-Scots

Frank McNally
“It must be the ultimate proof of Godwin’s Law that, according to Britain’s communications regulator Ofcom, “Nazi” is now considered only a mild term of abuse, of limited concern to broadcasters. Formulated in 1990 by a US lawyer, the law noted the tendency even in pre-internet computer discussions for people to use the “reductio ad Hitlerum” argument sooner or later. Updated, the rule now states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazism or Hitler approaches 1”.

<Mod> Text removed. </Mod>

Ofcom report: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/91624/OfcomOffensiveLanguage.pdf


Warning - The above report contains some strong language.
 
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Rural

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Spoken like a true x%"x+*x

Not insulted!

I dreamt last night that I was receiving hate mail, all the cards just said "I hate you", but I felt insulted because this person hated me enough to invest in many postage stamps.

I have weird dreams by-the-way.
 

Prester Jim

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Godwins law is outdated or was never a sensible one anyway, there are times when it is valid to compare a group or individual to the Nazis and having a hesitation because of some lawyer's opinion becoming a social norm is pointless in any case and potentially even dangerous in some.
Anyone making a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis that is hyperbolic or inaccurate is very easily called out.
Who does Godwin's law actually help if it prevents valid comparisons?
Otherwise for the OP, insults have changed a huge amount with the increasing power of political correctness, social justice activists, safe spaces etc.
What insults are actually allowable these days?
I am glad to see the back of "faggot" and the like but can we really be about to lose idiot and moron now because of SJWs?
If it is awful to call someone fat or ugly surely it is also terrible to insult another natural element of their person, their intelligence or lack of it?
 

between the bridges

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If yer insulted by the comments of anonymous users on a virtual reality playground yer a muppet...
 

Rural

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Godwins law is outdated or was never a sensible one anyway, there are times when it is valid to compare a group or individual to the Nazis and having a hesitation because of some lawyer's opinion becoming a social norm is pointless in any case and potentially even dangerous in some.
Anyone making a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis that is hyperbolic or inaccurate is very easily called out.
Who does Godwin's law actually help if it prevents valid comparisons?
Otherwise for the OP, insults have changed a huge amount with the increasing power of political correctness, social justice activists, safe spaces etc.
What insults are actually allowable these days?
I am glad to see the back of "faggot" and the like but can we really be about to lose idiot and moron now because of SJWs?
If it is awful to call someone fat or ugly surely it is also terrible to insult another natural element of their person, their intelligence or lack of it?
Do you think that getting insulted by something said is a personal choice in many cases?
 

shiel

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Brilliant article by Frank McNally as always.

I remember another brilliant article by him on a former uppity French president who was lecturing us during a brief visit around the time of the collapse.

McNally thought he needed much longer here to understand us Irish.

He needed to visit puck fair in Killorgan and an orange march in Cullybackey. He also needed to understand the back door method of the GAA in allowing teams back into the championship after they were defeated.

The Rangers crowd telling the Celtic crowd to 'go home the famine is over' when they sing the fields of Athenry could be offensive but it is also funny.

Another incident that sticks in the mind is the time during the height of the Celtic Tiger when things were really humming here and we were looking down on the Germans.

Then a German diplomat had the temerity to laugh at us and forecast doom for us at the way we were behaving.

We look down on the Germans as being dour and having no sense of humour while we ourselves are great crack.

But on that occasion not alone did the German sense of humour get on our nerves it also proved to be exactly right in its diagnosis.
 

Prester Jim

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Lets have a list of the things you can insult and cannot.

Can:
Personality (unless it is as a result of a disorder, so you have to talk to their GP first)
German nationality (apparently)
Lack of competence (unless related to a physical or mental condition or illness)
Political beliefs
Religious beliefs (if Christian)
Parents and family (although you risk a thump too)

Cannot:
Physique
Sexuality
Nationality (unless German apparently)
Mental attributes
Religious beliefs if non-Christian
Health, mental or otherwise


Please feel free to add
 

GDPR

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"Nazi" was a silly nick name for National Socialist. Needless to say, National Socialists never called themselves Nazis. Like all silly insults, it started out with little or no meaning, and now it has even less meaning. One can all absolutely anyone a Nazi - Zionazi, grammar nazi, Gaystapo Nazi, etc. etc.
 

Prester Jim

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Do you think that getting insulted by something said is a personal choice in many cases?
Interesting question, in general you can choose how you react but the insulter is the one who performs the action.
It is the intent and the context that decides things too, no-one will ever insult me when their intention is benign but if their intention is malign I will take not of that.
 

GDPR

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Lets have a list of the things you can insult and cannot.

Can:
Personality (unless it is as a result of a disorder, so you have to talk to their GP first)
German nationality (apparently)
Lack of competence (unless related to a physical or mental condition or illness)
Political beliefs
Religious beliefs (if Christian)
Parents and family (although you risk a thump too)

Cannot:
Physique
Sexuality
Nationality (unless German apparently)
Mental attributes
Religious beliefs if non-Christian
Health, mental or otherwise


Please feel free to add
Liberals abuse people with mental disorders by abusing terms such a "homophobia" and "xenophobia."
 

stopdoingstuff

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Context and intent are what matters to me when determining whether something is offensive and insulting or not. I have an old uncle who regularly comes out with such gems as "This town is full of ******************************************". He probably doesn't mean it in a friendly way. On the other hand, one of my friends is married to one of those ******************************************, and he shared, somewhat indiscreetly, that she takes great delight in being called "************************************" while in bed.
 

Prester Jim

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Context and intent are what matters to me when determining whether something is offensive and insulting or not. I have an old uncle who regularly comes out with such gems as "This town is full of ******************************************". He probably doesn't mean it in a friendly way. On the other hand, one of my friends is married to one of those ******************************************, and he shared, somewhat indiscreetly, that she takes great delight in being called "************************************" while in bed.
Astronomers?
 

Rural

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Interesting question, in general you can choose how you react but the insulter is the one who performs the action.
It is the intent and the context that decides things too, no-one will ever insult me when their intention is benign but if their intention is malign I will take not of that.
I have found that some choose to get insulted, I know people who get terribly insulted if you forget their name. But I know what you mean, it's the intent and malace behind what is said that can hurt more than the words.
 

Prester Jim

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stopdoingstuff

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Astronomers?
It might as well be. The point would be the exact same. The word was used in 3 totally different senses- one utterly offensive, one not as offensive due to it being a comment on the previous use of the word, and one that is definitely not offensive. It just depends on context and intent.
 

Prester Jim

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I have found that some choose to get insulted, I know people who get terribly insulted if you forget their name. But I know what you mean, it's the intent and malace behind what is said that can hurt more than the words.
It might be my secondary school but a part of my humour and my older friends humour is that of insults and slagging but done in a certain way, you can insult past behaviour (as long as only certain people are present), personality traits like miserliness for instance and opinions etc and pepper that with any witty line as long as it isn't personalised to too great a degree.
Works fine and very, very rarely does anyone get offended. It has given me decades of training in face to face insult-off and leaves me immune but if someone deliberately tries to be nasty that is a different story, no need for it at all.
 

Rural

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It might be my secondary school but a part of my humour and my older friends humour is that of insults and slagging but done in a certain way, you can insult past behaviour (as long as only certain people are present), personality traits like miserliness for instance and opinions etc and pepper that with any witty line as long as it isn't personalised to too great a degree.
Works fine and very, very rarely does anyone get offended. It has given me decades of training in face to face insult-off and leaves me immune but if someone deliberately tries to be nasty that is a different story, no need for it at all.
Some of the men hereabouts slag me about women drivers in general and my driving in particular, I really enjoy that and have a great laugh, especially when they ask for a lift afterwards!
 


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